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Thread: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

  1. #1
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    Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    Ground hog Day, again!
    Looks like the same old thing for this Saturday.

    As of tonight (Thursday, 8/6, at 11 PM) the RASP is saying that's the way it is.... or will be.

    Rather than bore you with details about fcst charts, let's leave that for the post flight de-brief.

    Here's my plan:
    Launch at 1:15 PM on Saturday. Take a tow far enough on the west side of the valley to be able to get to Goat. An engine run is not out of consideration in order to achieve the start. We just need to get to Goat at about 1:45 PM, then climb to over 8,000 ft and head north. Turn T-15 (or maybe T-16) and then head south. Turn Walker and do a high speed run back to WSC. My guess is that should be about a three hour flight.

    The standard Mendos Milk Run... ho hum.....

    As of tonight's fcst, it will be best to go from Goat to Snow, over Sheet iron, over Alder Springs, bypass Black Butte to the east of it, and cross over Yolo Peak at 12,000 before going that last 10 or 15 miles to the north and making the requisite U-turn.

    We'll see more on Friday night.
    Peter Kelly

  2. #2
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    Re: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    Lots of good flights yesterday, Some pilots flew way more than the "milk run" between Goat, T-15. As for today, it looks similar except for a bit less of the cu, a bit more surface wind between Black Butte and Anthony, but Blk butte is fcst to be working (I had been planning to by-pass it based on the first fcst we had for today). Also more clouds on todays fcst than had originally been predicted.

    Here's my NEW plan:
    Launch at 1:15 PM today. Tow to Tree Farm, climb to over 8,000 ft and head north. Turn T-15 (not T-16) and then head south, and Finish within one mile of Tree Farm. I'm shooting for minimum time over a set course.

    Maybe this will establish a "standard". Something to measure against the next time you fly.
    Time starts when we depart the five mile circle at TreeFarmGate, and ends at the one mile circle around
    TreeFarmGate. A standard task set up, with only one turn point - called an "out and return". (although, I don't know how See You computes the distance and therefore the time enroute. The task shows 66 miles in each direction. maybe it should use 6 miles less going north (5 mile start and 1 mile turn at T-15) and 2 miles less on return)??)

    • Start is TreeFarmGate (five mile circle, 10,000 ft max altitude)
    • T-15 (turn within one mile)
    • Finish at TreeFarmGate (one mile circle) (no minimum altitude required)


    Handicaps factor will be applied.

    If you finish too low at finish you may be too low to get back up to try a second run to the north again, and/or you might even be too low to make it back to WSC, so some good judgement must be applied on the "finish altitude".


    Details from See You.

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    We could launch earlier and do two runs....
    One would be an "out and return from the gate to T-15" and the other could be an "out and return to Yolla Peak".

    We ought to establish both standards, but Flying more than four hours is too much for me these days.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 08-08-2020 at 09:28 AM.
    Peter Kelly

  3. #3
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    Re: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    Post Flight Debrief

    This will take a few entries.
    Summary:
    It was a typical good day. Fcst was quite accurate - as usual.
    Mission accomplished with regards to doing a declared task.
    Thomas Duncan was the GIB (guy in back).
    I discussed the plans with Thomas and gave him the choice of flying the task first of have me fly it first. He elected to have me fly the first task, and said he would fly the second task.

    I flew the task as detailed on the previous entry.
    Start


    • Start is TreeFarmGate (five mile circle, 10,000 ft max altitude)
    • T-15 (turn within one mile)
    • Finish at TreeFarmGate (one mile circle) (no minimum altitude required)


    We then created a second task and Thomas flew that one at best speed.


    • Start is TreeFarmGate (five mile circle, 10,000 ft max altitude)
    • Yolla Peak (turn within one mile)
    • Finish at TreeFarmGate (one mile circle) (no minimum altitude required)


    We now have two Standard Courses established. I am hoping Ben will publicize these tasks and the speeds associated with our flights. Let's see if anyone can beat, or even math those speeds! I have suggested that all scores should be handicapped, base on the glider being flown, but that stipulation s has not yet been established.
    I will present out flight traces and will allow Ben to make the final ruling on our raw speed and handicapped speeds.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 08-08-2020 at 08:27 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  4. #4
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    Re: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    Took a bunch of happy snaps. These pretty much tell the story.

    On tow behind Lucien, GIB at the controls. Although it is a cloudless sky, and it looks hazy, the RASP says "trust me" ... "GO, GO NOW, ...THE LIFT WILL BE THERE" Time now is 13:05 and we are past Cooks, heading west.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    As we approach the Ridge, still smooth air, but Lucien is left of course taking us to Tree Farm, so I request a 20 degree left turn and we head towards the south end of the goat ridge.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tom finds good lift along the ridge, I take the stick, explore the area, and get a good start. In this next photo I am 5 miles south of Anthony and on course with 29 miles to go to T-15. I had a some lift as I passed Blk Butte. Keeping a cruise speed of about 80 to 85 kts.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    better shot of location - same phot time as above.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    same location. Just using my phone for the photos and flying with one hand.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looking ahead I can see clouds popping up at Yolla Pk

    Click image for larger version. 

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    i didn't snap anymore pix for another hour. Here we are, Tom is flying and he is inbound to Blk Butte


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ths photo is 5 seconds later - the view ahead - we are passing under cu and there is one near blk butte.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    end of photos
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 08-08-2020 at 10:43 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  5. #5
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    Re: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    This is a link to the flight logs posted on OLC on this day....
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....&df=2020-08-08

    When I was on task, only I flew the ship, and when Thomas was on task, only he controlled the ship.


    Comparing stats and tracks of my task with Tom's task you can see they are very comparable. We did a lot of straight ahead flying with minimal turns.
    I used 8 thermals, Tom only used 4, but our circling times were about the same percentage 15 and 16 %.


    If Ben is going to keep records of such Standard Courses, then the computations should always be computed in the same, and simplest manner.
    I personally prefer to use the XC Speed that See You computes, as it minimizes high speed dives to the finish, since adjustment to the finish speed is made based on the altitude difference between start and finish. It would not be good to reward pilots who wish to do diving, red line, low altitude finishes.

    On any given day, pilot may fly the same course very much faster or very much slower - it depends on the conditions of the day, thus a record for a very poor day in the winter time just might be much more meaningful than the record from fantastic soaring day in mid-summer. The records are more about accomplishments than comparing stats of one flight to another.

    For the record book, on our Standard Courses (5 mile radius start gate, 1 mile radius turn and finish) all are "Out and Return", using computations by See You.


    Task - T-15 - 132.3 miles, computed X-C Speed 68.5 kts - On 8/08/20, Pilot Peter Kelly, Ship ASW32Mi

    Task - Yolla Peak - 106.1 miles, computed X-C Speed 68.75 kts - On 8/08/20, Pilot Thomas Duncan, Ship ASW32Mi



    The two tracks:

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    The stats from each task:
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    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 08-09-2020 at 04:25 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  6. #6
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    Re: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    The concept of establishing "Standard Courses" here at Williams Soaring Center has been discussed between Rex and many others over the past 20 or 30 years.
    The VSA Race Series was actually an outgrowth of should I say an alternative to the concept of establishing Standard Courses back in 2013, some seven years ago. With the Race Series now a thing of the past, the Standard Course Records are now a viable alternative.

    I spoke with both Rex and Ben today and it appears they each may have some plans to formalize Speeds for Standard Courses. They may not call it that, as the concept is still being developed, but this flight may possibly be a good starting point. We'll see what Ben decides.
    Peter Kelly

  7. #7
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    Re: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    Shortly after I earned the glider add-on rating, Rex had told me it was time to design a task and fly it. Although I had every intention of taking his advice, up until now my flying has been tow to lift, fly around as much as possible finding lift where I could, and then gliding back to WSC. The flying that Peter had planned for us today showed me why Rex’s advice would have been good to follow. Today’s flight was a great learning experience from beginning to end. It started with a preflight discussion of the task and learnIng to program the task into the ClearNav. Since Peter flew first I had time to experiment with the ClearNav MC settings, track display, other features that are best seen while flying. I also had time to study a note sheet Peter had prepared listing speeds based on vario readings and associated flap settings for different speeds to achieve the greatest distance in the least amount of time with minimum altitude lost using only the lift necessary. I think the biggest difference for me between this flight and my other flights was that this was flying with a purpose other than just the enjoyment of flying on earth’s energy. I know a lot of this is not new to most glider pilots but is was for me. When it was time for me to fly I had seen what I had to do demonstrated and I understood what I was to do. Flying with Peter is always a great experience and a heck of a lot of fun, too! I appreciate that when I ask what I should do he always starts by asking “What do you think you should do?”. This would be good for any mentor to emulate. It was also great to spend time so focused on flying that all the craziness going on around us right now had no chance to bombard my consciousness for at least three to four hours. Now, if I just could fly coordinated and realize just how much rudder that ASG 32 demands. Thanks Peter.

  8. #8
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    Re: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    Thanks Peter and Thomas for your posts and observations. While we have lost the last of "peak season" with all the fires and smoke, there will likely be some shorter fall days that produce fun flights before winter sets in. Having a goal, even a modest one, has always produced the most memorable soaring for me, and I look forward to running some of the "standard tasks" that get set-up (including the ones above).

  9. #9
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    Re: Soaring the Mendos on Saturday 8/8/20

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Beckman View Post
    ...While we have lost the last of "peak season" with all the fires and smoke, there will likely be some shorter fall days that produce fun flights before winter sets in...
    I would not toss the 2020 soaring season into the trash can yet...

    I have had some of my best flying the last 2 - 3 weeks in September the past 3 seasons. Hopefully, for the best...
    Pete Alexander -- 98

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